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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Target Cuts Health Coverage for Part-Time Workers - Retailer Points to Insurance Options Available Through Public Exchanges

From The Wall Street Journal:

Target Corp. on Tuesday said it will stop offering health coverage for part-time employees, citing insurance options available through public exchanges.

Target said the health-insurance marketplaces, spurred by President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, could provide options its part-time workers may prefer.

"By offering them insurance, we could actually disqualify many of them from being eligible for newly available subsidies that could reduce their overall health insurance expense," Target said.

The health law requires large companies to offer coverage to employees working 30 hours a week or more, from 2015, or pay a penalty starting at $2,000 per worker. The law also requires most individuals this year to have coverage, or pay a penalty, and many big employers have been bracing for higher costs as employees who previously turned down participation in the company health plan now sign up for it.

Retailers, along with restaurant and hospitality companies, are bracing from some of the biggest cost increases under the new insurance mandates due to their sizable workforces.

Several other big employers have already said they are paring back the benefits they offered that aren't required by the law to try to keep their benefits spending in check. In August, United Parcel Service Inc.  said it was cutting off coverage for workers' spouses who had access to insurance through their own employers.

The online health insurance exchanges allow individuals to compare health plans and apply for tax credits toward the cost of their coverage. People can get tax credits on a sliding scale if they fall within certain income brackets--between $11,490 and $45,960 for a single person — but only if they don't have access to insurance through their employer that costs 9.5% or less of their wages.

Some employers have also sought to trim workers' hours to minimize the number for whom they have to provide coverage or pay a penalty. In its statement, Target said it wouldn't be limiting hours for workers as a result of the change and its workers that average at least 32 hours a week will be eligible for comprehensive health insurance coverage. 

1 Comments:

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11:40 PM  

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